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(LEAD) Suwon held to 1-1 draw by Shanghai Shenhua in AFC Champions League

All Headlines 23:21 March 07, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS Ulsan's results in last 7 paras)

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korean football club Suwon Samsung Bluewings collected their first draw in the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League after playing to a 1-1 tie with Chinese outfit Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday.

Left wing-back Lee Ki-je scored the opening goal at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, but the K League 1 club surrendered an equalizer in the second half after conceding a penalty kick.

Suwon now have one win, one draw and one loss in Group H. They previously blanked Sydney FC 2-0, but fell 2-1 to Kashima Antlers.

Suwon made their first shot of the match just two minutes after the kickoff, though Im Sang-hyeob's effort off a Lee Ki-je cross went wide.

Suwon captain Yeom Ki-hun and striker Dejan Damjanovic later came close to scoring, but failed to find the net in the first half.

Damjanovic's powerful free kick in the 28th minute was parried away by Shanghai goalkeeper Li Shuai. The 36-year-old Montenegrin tapped a cross from Yeom two minutes later, but it went straight to Li's hands.

In the 31st, Yeom fired a left-footed attempt uncontested in the box, only to see it go over the net. He then launched another left-footed strike in the 38th, but Li denied his attempt.

Suwon Samsung Bluewings left back Lee Ki-je shoots to score his side's first goal against Shanghai Shenhua during their Asian Football Confederation Champions League Group H match at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on March 7, 2018. (Yonhap)

Shanghai, having made only two shots in the first half, started the second half by putting Colombian attacking midfielder Giovanni Moreno on for Gao Di.

Suwon finally broke the scoreless deadlock two minutes into the second half. Li punched away Yeom's free kick from the right flank, but Lee Ki-je followed up with a left-footed screamer that found the bottom left corner of the net.

Suwon then went for their second goal of the night in the 57th with Kim Jong-woo's strike from distance, but it was stopped by Li.

Shanghai's Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin nearly gave the visitors an equalizer in the 68th, when he intercepted a pass and fired a right-footed strike in the box. Suwon goalkeeper No Dong-geon made a superb save to deny the former Inter Milan player's effort.

Following a corner kick, Shanghai defender Aidi Fulang Xisi fell down in the box after making physical contact with Suwon's right wing-back Cristovam in the 69th. The referee awarded a penalty to the Chinese Super League club, which was converted by Moreno a minute later.

After conceding the equalizer, Suwon made their first substitution in the 71st, when Brazilian forward Waguininho came on for Im. Seo Jung-won's side then made another substitution in the 83rd to boost their attack, with forward Kim Gun-hee coming to the pitch for Cristovam.

With four minutes of stoppage time added, Waguininho fired a right-footed strike from a tight angle in the 91st, but it was saved by Li. In the 94th, Waguininho had another chance to score following a poor clearance from a Shanghai defender, but his attempt from close range went wide.

Elsewhere, another K League 1 club, Ulsan Hyundai, played to a 2-2 draw with Shanghai SIPG on the road in their Group F game.

On a rain-soaked pitch at Shanghai Stadium in China, Ulsan nearly went behind in the 21st when Shanghai SIPG's Brazilian international Oscar rang the post.

Ulsan went ahead of the Chinese hosts in the 37th when Austrian defender Richard Windbichler headed down a Lee Yeong-jae corner kick. But their lead didn't last long, as Oscar fired a right-footed shot outside the box to make the score 1-1 a minute later.

They produced pretty much the same story in the second half. Shanghai SIPG's Wu Lei hit the post in the 64th with his right-footed strike, but four minutes later Ulsan took a lead again after Kim In-sung tapped home a Lee Myung-jae cross.

Oscar then stepped up again. The former Chelsea man curled the ball in with his right foot to level the score in the 70th.

Ulsan now also have one win, one draw and one loss in Group F. They'll play a return match with Shanghai SIPG next Tuesday at home.

Suwon and Ulsan are two of the four South Korean clubs in this year's AFC Champions League (ACL). The defending K League 1 champions, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, are in Group E, while last year's runners-up, Jeju United, are in Group G.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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